Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Series In Baltimore a Wet Blanket

The Yankees played a 3-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore this weekend, and a good time was not had by all.

On Friday night, the Yankees hit 3 home runs: Carlos Beltran (his 13th of the season), Alex Rodriguez (his 7th) and Austin Romine (his 2nd).

It wasn't enough: Nathan Eovaldi did not pitch well, Kirby Yates didn't, either, and Dellin Betances finished the bad pitching job in the 7th.

Orioles 6, Yankees 5. WP: Mychal Givens (5-0). SV: Zach Britton (16). LP: Betances (2-3).

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On Saturday night, they still didn't get good pitching, but, at first, it looked like they got enough hitting to cover it. There were no home runs in the Baltimore Bandox (not by the Yankees, anyway), but A-Rod and Starlin Castro each got 3 hits, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner each got 2. A 4-run 5th inning was the key to victory, or so it seemed. It was 7-0 Yankees going into the bottom of the 7th.

For once, though, Joe Girardi made the opposite of his usual mistake: He left the starting pitcher in too long. Ivan Nova began to fall apart in the 7th, and Nick Goody, brought in to face one batter, didn't get him out. When is Girardi going to realize that this tactic is stupid?

Andrew Miller got all 3 outs in the 7th (since Girardi didn't want to use Betances again), and all 3 in the 8th. Aroldis Chapman finished the win off.

Yankees 8, Orioles 6. WP: Nova (4-3). SV: Chapman (now a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities). LP: Tyler Wilson (2-5).

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Sunday afternoon featured a tense pitching duel between CC Sabathia and Kevin Gausman. With 1 out in the top of the 3rd, Ellsbury singled, advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, and was singled home by A-Rod.

CC kept that 1-0 lead through the 5th. Goody, surprisingly, pitched a perfect 6th. In the top of the 7th, the Yankees had men on 1st & 2nd with 1 out, 2nd & 3rd with 2 out, but didn't score. That would prove to be big.

Girardi brought Betances on to pitch the bottom of the 7th. Why he didn't let CC pitch the 6th, I'll never know, but he blew this one, too. Betances ran into trouble, but got out of it. Still 1-0 Yankees, a most unlikely score at Camden Yards.

Then, in the bottom of the 8th, Girardi left Betances in. Why not bring in Miller? Because he'd pitched Miller for 2 innings 19 hours before. Betances gave up a walk to Mark Trumbo, then a single to Chris Davis. He struck out Nolan Reimold...

And then the rains came. The tarp was put on the field. Those of us old enough to remember 1978 remember Earl Weaver,then managing the Orioles, leaving a waterlogged tarp on long enough to ruin the field and give the Orioles a win over the Yankees.

The delay lasted over an hour and a half. That was no tarp: It was a wet blanket. There was no way Girardi was going to let Betances back out there. But he wasn't going to let Miller take the mound, either. So he sent out his closer, Chapman, to get a 5-out save.

Chapman struck out Jonathan Schoop. But he gave up a single to Francisco Pena, loading the bases. And then Matt Wieters singled to center. And Ellsbury bobbled it. All the runners scored.

Of course, the Yankees went out meekly in the 9th. Orioles 3, Yankees 1. WP: T.J. McFarland (1-1). SV: Britton (17). LP: Betances (2-4), although this is yet another one on Girardi.

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You can complain all you want about hitters, runners, fielders, starters or relievers not getting the job done. But if Joe Girardi had a clue about handling pitchers (which, as an ex-catcher, he should have), the Yankees would be right up there with the American League leaders.

Instead, 9 weeks into a 26-week MLB season -- more than 1/3rd of the way through -- the Yankees are 26-30, 6 1/2 games behind the 1st-place Orioles, 7 in the loss column.

The Yankees have come home, and begin a series with the Whatever They're Calling Themselves This Season Angels of Anaheim. Here are the projected starting pitching matchups:

* Tonight: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Matt Shoemaker.

* Tomorrow: Michael Pineda vs. former Yankee lefthander David Huff.

* Wednesday: Eovaldi vs. Jered Weaver.

All games are listed as 7:05 PM starts.

Come on you Pinstripes! Snap out of it! And, while you're at it...

GIRARDI OUT!

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